Clothes and good weather ease UK retail sales in May

Tuesday, 10 June 2014
According to the latest BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, like-for-like sales in May were a 0.5 percent higher than a year ago, with total sales increasing 2 percent. Clothing was the best performing category, reporting its highest growth since December 2011.

Retail sales growth slowed last month as the best month for clothing retailers in more than two years was offset by the impact of supermarket price wars.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said that summer fashion ranges and discounting helped clothing sales perform strongly.

In contrast, food sales slipped 0.2 percent on a on a quarter-on-quarter basis, as the major supermarkets cut prices to hold market share and fight off discount rivals.

This is the first time that the three-month average for food has been in negative territory since the survey began in 2008, highlighted the research.

KPMG head of retail David McCorquodale said the grocers "appear locked in a race to the bottom" to cut prices, adding that "This price war is hindering the retail sector's overall recovery, which without the effects of these cuts would have seen like-for-like sales growth outpace inflation over the last quarter."

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